Florida Senate - 2015 CS for CS for SB 1246 By the Committees on Fiscal Policy; and Commerce and Tourism; and Senator Detert 594-02925-15 20151246c2 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to individuals with disabilities; 3 requiring the Department of Economic Opportunity, in 4 consultation with other organizations, to create the 5 Florida Unique Abilities Partner program; defining 6 terms; authorizing a business entity to apply to the 7 department for designation; requiring the department 8 to consider nominations of business entities for 9 designation; requiring the department to adopt 10 procedures for application, nomination, and 11 designation processes; establishing criteria for a 12 business entity to be designated as a Florida Unique 13 Abilities Partner; requiring a business entity to 14 certify that it continues to meet the established 15 criteria for designation each year; requiring the 16 department to remove the designation if a business 17 entity does not submit yearly certification of 18 continued eligibility; authorizing a business entity 19 to discontinue its use of the designation; requiring 20 the department, in consultation with the disability 21 community, to develop a logo for business entities 22 designated as Florida Unique Abilities Program 23 Partners; requiring the department to adopt guidelines 24 and requirements for use of the logo; authorizing the 25 department to allow a designated business entity to 26 display a logo; prohibiting the use of a logo if a 27 business entity does not have a current designation; 28 requiring the department to maintain a website with 29 specified information; requiring the Agency for 30 Persons with Disabilities to provide a link on its 31 website to the department’s website for the Florida 32 Unique Abilities Partner program; requiring the 33 department to provide the Florida Tourism Industry 34 Marketing Corporation with certain information; 35 requiring the department and CareerSource Florida, 36 Inc., to identify employment opportunities posted by 37 employers that receive the Florida Unique Abilities 38 Partner designation on the workforce information 39 system; providing report requirements; requiring the 40 department to adopt rules; providing appropriations; 41 providing an effective date. 42 43 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 44 45 Section 1. Florida Unique Abilities Partner program.— 46 (1) CREATION AND PURPOSE.—The Department of Economic 47 Opportunity shall establish the Florida Unique Abilities Partner 48 program to designate a business entity as a Florida Unique 49 Abilities Partner if the business entity demonstrates 50 commitment, through employment or support, to the independence 51 of individuals who have a disability. The department shall 52 consult with the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the 53 Division of Vocational Rehabilitation of the Department of 54 Education, the Division of Blind Services of the Department of 55 Education, and CareerSource Florida, Inc., in creating the 56 program. 57 (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term: 58 (a) “Department” means the Department of Economic 59 Opportunity. 60 (b) “Individuals who have a disability” means persons who 61 have a physical or intellectual impairment that substantially 62 limits one or more major life activities; persons who have a 63 history or record of such an impairment; or persons who are 64 perceived by others as having such an impairment. 65 (3) DESIGNATION.— 66 (a) A business entity may apply to the department to be 67 designated as a Florida Unique Abilities Partner, based on the 68 business entity’s achievements in at least one of the following 69 categories: 70 1. Employment of individuals who have a disability. 71 2. Contributions to local or national disability 72 organizations. 73 3. Contributions to or the establishment of a program that 74 contributes to the independence of individuals who have a 75 disability. 76 (b) As an alternative to application by a business entity, 77 the department must consider nominations from members of the 78 community where the business entity is located. The nomination 79 must identify the business entity’s achievements in at least one 80 of the categories provided in paragraph (a). 81 (c) The name, location, and contact information of the 82 business entity must be included in the business entity’s 83 application or nomination. 84 (d) The department shall adopt procedures for the 85 application, nomination, and designation processes for the 86 Florida Unique Abilities Partner program. Designation as a 87 Florida Unique Abilities Partner does not establish or involve 88 licensure, does not affect the substantial interests of a party, 89 and does not constitute a final agency action. The Florida 90 Unique Abilities Partner program and designation are not subject 91 to chapter 120, Florida Statutes. 92 (4) ELIGIBILITY AND AWARD.—In determining the eligibility 93 for the designation of a business entity as a Florida Unique 94 Abilities Partner, the department shall consider, at a minimum, 95 the following criteria: 96 (a) For a designation based on an application by a 97 business: 98 1. A business entity must certify that it employs at least 99 one individual who has a disability. Such employees must be 100 residents of this state and must have been employed by the 101 business entity for at least 9 months before the business 102 entity’s application for the designation. The department may not 103 require the employer to provide personally identifiable 104 information about its employees; 105 2. A business entity must certify that it has made 106 contributions to local and national disability organizations or 107 contributions in support of individuals who have a disability. 108 Contributions may be accomplished through financial or in-kind 109 contributions, including employee volunteer hours. Contributions 110 must be documented by providing copies of written receipts or 111 letters of acknowledgment from recipients or donees. A business 112 entity with 100 or fewer employees must make a financial or in 113 kind contribution of at least $1,000, and a business entity with 114 more than 100 employees must make a financial or in-kind 115 contribution of at least $5,000; or 116 3. A business entity must certify that it has established, 117 or has contributed to the establishment of, a program that 118 contributes to the independence of individuals who have a 119 disability. Contributions must be documented by providing copies 120 of written receipts, a summary of the program, program 121 materials, or letters of acknowledgment from program 122 participants or volunteers. A business entity with 100 or fewer 123 employees must make a financial or in-kind contribution of at 124 least $1,000 in the program, and a business entity with more 125 than 100 employees must make a financial or in-kind contribution 126 of at least $5,000. 127 128 A business entity that applies to the department to be 129 designated as a Florida Unique Abilities Partner shall be 130 awarded the designation upon meeting the requirements of this 131 section. 132 (b) For a designation based upon receipt of a nomination of 133 a business entity: 134 1. The department shall determine whether the nominee, 135 based on the information provided by the nominating person or 136 entity, meets the requirements of paragraph (a). The department 137 may request additional information from the nominee. 138 2. If the nominee meets the requirements, the department 139 shall provide notice, including the qualification criteria 140 provided in the nomination, to the nominee regarding the 141 nominee’s eligibility to be awarded a designation as a Florida 142 Unique Abilities Partner. 143 3. The nominee shall be provided 30 days from the receipt 144 of the notice to certify that the information in the notice is 145 true and accurate and accept the nomination; or to decline the 146 nomination. After 30 days, if the nomination has not been 147 accepted, the department may not award the designation. If the 148 nominee accepts the nomination, the department shall award the 149 designation. If the nominee declines the nomination, the 150 department may not award the designation. 151 (5) ANNUAL CERTIFICATION.—After an initial designation as a 152 Florida Unique Abilities Partner, a business entity must certify 153 each year that it continues to meet the criteria for the 154 designation. If a business entity does not submit the yearly 155 certification of continued eligibility, the department shall 156 remove the designation. A business entity may elect to 157 discontinue its use of the designation at any time by notifying 158 the department of such decision. 159 (6) LOGO DEVELOPMENT.— 160 (a) The department, in consultation with members of the 161 disability community, shall develop a logo that identifies a 162 business entity that is designated as a Florida Unique Abilities 163 Partner. 164 (b) The department shall adopt guidelines and requirements 165 for use of the logo, including how the logo may be used in 166 advertising. The department may allow a business entity to 167 display a Florida Unique Abilities Partner logo upon 168 designation. A business entity that has not been designated as a 169 Florida Unique Abilities Partner or has elected to discontinue 170 its designated status may not display the logo. 171 (7) WEBSITE.—The department shall maintain a website for 172 the program. At a minimum, the website must provide: a list of 173 business entities, by county, that currently have the Florida 174 Unique Abilities Partner designation, updated quarterly; 175 information regarding the eligibility requirements for the 176 designation and the method of application or nomination; and 177 best practices for business entities to facilitate the inclusion 178 of individuals who have a disability, updated annually. The 179 website may provide links to the websites of organizations or 180 other resources that will aid business entities to employ or 181 support individuals who have a disability. 182 (8) INTERAGENCY COLLABORATION.— 183 (a) The Agency for Persons with Disabilities shall provide 184 a link on its website to the department’s website for the 185 Florida Unique Abilities Partner program. 186 (b) On a quarterly basis, the department shall provide the 187 Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation with a current 188 list of all businesses that are designated as Florida Unique 189 Abilities Partners. The Florida Tourism Industry Marketing 190 Corporation must consider the Florida Unique Abilities Partner 191 program in the development of marketing campaigns, and 192 specifically in any targeted marketing campaign for individuals 193 who have a disability or their families. 194 (c) The department and CareerSource Florida, Inc., shall 195 identify employment opportunities posted by business entities 196 that currently have the Florida Unique Abilities Partner 197 designation on the workforce information system under s. 198 445.011, Florida Statutes. 199 (9) REPORT.— 200 (a) By January 1, 2016, the department shall provide a 201 report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the 202 House of Representatives on the status of the implementation of 203 this section, including the adoption of rules, development of 204 the logo, and development of application procedures. 205 (b) Beginning in 2016 and each year thereafter, the 206 department’s annual report required under s. 20.60, Florida 207 Statutes, must describe in detail the progress and use of the 208 program. At a minimum, the report must include the following 209 information for the most recent year: the number of applications 210 and nominations received; the number of nominations accepted and 211 declined; designations awarded; annual certifications; use of 212 information provided under subsection (8); and any other 213 information deemed necessary to evaluate the program. 214 (10) RULES.—The department shall adopt rules to administer 215 this section. 216 Section 2. For the 2015-2016 fiscal year, the sums of 217 $100,000 in recurring funds and $100,000 in nonrecurring funds 218 from the Special Employment Security Administration Trust Fund 219 are appropriated to the Department of Economic Opportunity for 220 the purpose of funding the development, implementation, and 221 administration of the Florida Unique Abilities Partner program 222 created by this act. 223 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2015.